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Hardball Weekend

News/Business. The best of 'Hardball With Chris Matthews.'

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Us 6, Ron 4, Christie 3, Ron Suskind 3, Kasich 3, Iraq 3, Baghdad 3, Richard Perle 2, Mr. Kasich 2, Iran 2, Kate 2, Sandy 2, Chambliss 2, Msnbc 2, Georgia 2, Pearl Harbor 2, U.s. 2, Harrison 1, Sam Graves 1, Mr. Inhofe 1,
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  MSNBC    Hardball Weekend    News/Business. The best of  
   'Hardball With Chris Matthews.'  

    March 24, 2013
    4:00 - 4:30am PDT  

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about to be separated from the convict that he considers his surrogate father. he has been given an 18-month term in the prison's intensive detention unit where he will be locked up 23 hours per day and not perfemitted to associate wi general population inmates. on his way to idu, he's allowed one last good-bye. >> where are you going? >> idu. a year and a half. >> i love you. >> you too, bub. >> stay out of trouble, kid. >> this will be harrison's first time on idu. with good behavior, he might not serve the entire year and a half, but that's small consolation of this cellblock, a place where the prison's most dangerous inmates seemingly
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spend 24 hours a day shouting threats at each other. >> he's nervous. i think he's nervous. this is his first time up here on idu, so it's nerve-wracking. >> this is smaller than a [ bleep ] regular cell. >> hopefully he'll do his year and a half, go back out to population, and straighten up, >> and if not? >> then he'll be up here longer and probably get more conduct reports. if he acts up in here, they'll probably ship him out of here. >> idu, baby!
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shameless -- let's play "hardball." good evening. i'm chris matthews in washington. let me start tonight with this. i hated the iraq war, said so when i saw it coming, have said so since. the only time i held back from that early criticism which began when i saw the runup coming was in the early days of the actual occupation when it looked like our forces were being well received, when i had no real choice but to root that the losses our forces had suffered
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already were being justified. who in this country would not have held that hope? especially after it was too late to do anything else. i would much rather america succeed, by the way, and be wrong than the other way around. anyway, but here we are, the other way around. it turns out in my opposition to the iraq war was well considered. the war didn't liberate people t. did what anyone could have predicted. it put the shia in power, took the sunni out of power, removed a buffer from eye rap, gave iran an ally. did nothing to bring peace to the middle east, with which is why the shamelessness of the hawks is so obnoxious today. the people who took us into this war with ruthless propaganda slink back into shamelessness. they never come clean on selling the war. they never will come clean in admitting how nastily they succeeded. well tonight we let their voices rise to the ceiling so you will know the depths to which they have now descended in hiding
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their guilt. david corn is not guilty. he's oppose it had from the beginning. ron suskind is another guy not guilty. he's won a pulitzer prize and author of "confidence men." dick cheney, everybody calls him cheney because he doesn't care what you do, recently appeared in a documentary about his life and legacy. he says he has no regrets. let's watch cheney. >> i did what i did. it's all on the public record, and i feel very good about it. if i had to do it over again, i'd do it in it a minute. >> cheney's right about one thing. it is all on the public record. what would that record show? what it shows is an unbelievable string of lies, distortions and inept analysis on the part of him, the former vp. take a look. >> regime change in iraq would bring about a number of benefits to the region.
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when the gravest of threats are eliminated the freedom loving peoples of the region will have a chance to promote the values that can bring lasting peace. simply stated, there is no doubt that saddam hussein now has weapons of mass destruction. there is no doubt that he is amassing them to use against our friends, against our allies, and against us. >> do you think the american people are prepared for a long, costly, and bloody battle with a significant american casualties? >> i don't think it's likely to unfold that way, tim, because i do believe we will be greeted as liberators. >> ron suskind, i remember polls, the one at the time that showed a modest majority of meshes opposed the war that would bring even a significant amount of casualties. it was not just that the war was justified and even necessary but would have a limited cost. in fact, an insignificant number of casualties by americans. and look what happened. your thoughts? >> you know, this was not either a war of choice or necessity as tim russert said back then.
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it was a war of will. simply the will of cheney, bush, and that team. they're going to do it from the first nfc meeting of the bush presidency. it was a matter of how to do it. find me a way to do this. and 9/11 provided that excuse. what's interesting is when you look at the whole chain of events, how many lies there were. this was not a question of them wandering about wmd. it was building a case they knew would would be hollow and figuring once it was successful, once the troops were in there and on the ground, no one would care about the rationale, the just cause, so to speak, for what gets us into iraq. ultimately it shows itself to be a lie that was cynical and one that was preordained and premeditated from the start of the administration. >> you know, i attribute it to something grander than even evidence, my experience with dealing with cheney over the years. brain soup. certain people tend to be doves,
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hawks, and sadistic about it. cheney strikes me as a guy who wants to rub out his enemies politic politically. any enemy. >> david first. >> what you see in the clip you showed from the showtime film was a complete absence of self-reflection. no regrets. nothing like we could have done it better. if we had to do it all over again, i might have thought -- >> do you think he enjoys the stuff? >> i think he believes, and this may be psychotic on his part, that eventually he will be redeemed. he will be justified. but laurence wilkinson in the documentary that nbc -- >> the chief of staff of colin powell. >> it will be on later tonight. had a great word for this. describes very simply what ron just said. he called it a hoax. and when you sell a hoax, two things. you have to want it to happen and you have to believe it a little bit. and you have to have somewhat of a psychological imperative, maybe a psychotic personality to make it work. >> yeah, your thought getting
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into eiran? >> when you have a big lie, you have to have a big denial to follow it, and that denial has to be resist yent. one of this size is the type that people go to the grave with, and it's hard to watch cheney and then the whole gang of neocons sort of smiling at the camera saying, okay, now what do we do? next syria, next iran. because the fundamental principles that's behind this, the big idea, so to speak, of this whole gang is one that they still believe in, that of preemtive war, that the united states is the lone superpower in the world, has the right to invade for whatever they decide. we don't even have to give the noti notion. that's the notion of preemptive war. they thought iraq would be a demonstration model. it's a demonstration model of the very opposite of the limits of u.s. power. when we strip ourselves of the fundamental principle that is have always defined us as a nation. right now they just will look at the camera and not flinch. >> in the runup to that war in iraq, no one was a bigger hawk than richard pearl, a real intellectual.
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he repeatedly assert that had saddam hussein had ties to osama bin laden and was feverishly work to go acquire a nuclear bomb. and he promised that the war would be over within a matter of months. he was asked a very important question. i think it's a good we. his nonanswer is informative. let's listen. >> ten years later, nearly 5,000 american troops dead, thousands are more with wounds, hundreds of thousands of iraqis dead or wounded, when you think about this, was it worth it? >> i've got to say i think that is not a reasonable question. what we did at the time was done in the belief that it was necessary to protect this nation. you can't a decade later go back and say we shouldn't have done this. >> anyway, another unrepentant war hawk was deputy secretary of defense.
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here is what he wrote on fox news website. as a strictly military matter if the war in iraq ended when we got to baghdad, it would have been counted an historic victory. the war went sour after the occupation began. if only someone had thought about that, what would happen after we invaded. back in 2003 he didn't seem too concerned about that. take a listen. >> there's been a good deal of comments, some of it quite outlandish about what our post war requirements might be in iraq. some of the higher end predictions we've been hearing recently, such as the notion it will take several hundred thousand u.s. troops to provide stability in post-saddam iraq are wildly off the mark. first, it's hard to concede that it would take more forces in post-saddam iraq than to conduct the war itself and to secure the surrender of saddam's security forces and his army. hard to imagine. >> ron, i never mastered the ability to speak as if every
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word of opinion i offer is a fact that has already been received. it's done and there's been a verdict cast. these neocons, can be charming people. perle certainly is. you spend time and they're great to have dinner with. they're fine. they speak in a manner in which total, absolute conviction or salesman ship, if you will, translates into, well, it sounds like that's true when they'll argue things that haven't been established. they deny they can go in there easy. it's going to be an easy war. we're going to get the cheap oil, get jobs out of it. everything will be great and hardly anybody will be killed. they say it as if they're god. how do you explain that, ron? >> well, it's the notion of ideology. we have history's big idea. we may go to our grave not having the proof we desire. we will not flinch. we will stick to the script. remember, this is a gang of guys who have been together for a very long time, chris. they've got this script down.
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and they don't want to be challenged. what richard perle says, don't ask why. they don't want to be challenged with the killer question. did those young people die in vain. and that's the question that crushes them. and that's why they are running right now as best they can. >> i wish in a way it would crush them. i don't see that crushing. i was driving in the car two days ago with my 13-year-old daughter when we heard that interview with richard perle. she looked at me when he said that's not a reasonable question and said, who is this man? she, without my saying anything -- >> and what did you say? >> he's one of the people who gave us this war. i mean, to say that it's not a reasonable question to look at the cost of your action afterwards, to see if it justifies it, and when paul wolfowitz says the only problem is the war went on after we reached baghdad, otherwise it had been great up to them, is almost like saying if we had an army of a million giant flying robots, things would have worked out better.
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it's denying reality. to ron's point, you asked him how could they think this way? they're not concerned with the real world with expertise, with better measuring costs and benefits because they think they're above it. they don't pay the costs. this is all a giant lab experiment for them, and they know better than the intelligence people. they know better than the foreign -- >> it's such a stupid answer. the admiral, not a bad guy, didn't want to attack us at pearl harbor. he would have said, you know, if it had stopped at pearl harbor, it would have been a pretty good war for us. what a stupid thing to say from the time we arrived in baghdad, the war was over. no, it just began. your last thought, ron? >> look, what david says is just right. they ran an experiment on the whole globe and it failed. and at this point that's why you have truth and reconciliation commissions. get the truth out so we can have some reconciliation before these guys leave the stage. >> thank you. i think that's a great eye tea.
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i wouldn't mind some water barreding along the way get some information out of these guys. >> it's not torture. >> i know. it's not torture. mr. cheney, how about trying out this machine here and maybe get some truth out of you. just kidding. just kidding. thank you, david corn. we don't believe in that stuff, to we? you are a great reporter and a great author, thank you, ron suskind for coming on. mallon brothers magic? watch this -- alakazam! ♪ [ male announcer ] staples has always made getting office supplies easy. ♪ another laptop? don't ask. disappear! abracadabra! alakazam! [ male announcer ] and now we're making it easier to get everything for your business. and for my greatest trick! enough! [ male announcer ] because whatever you need, we'll have it or find it, and get it to you fast.
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welcome back to "hardball." the republican party has moved so far right you might say that anytime a hint of reasonableness creeps into a republican's comments that person is quickly snapped back into line. and that's what happened this week when an ohio governor john kasich, who i like, changed his position on gay civil unions. let's watch what he said. >> made news with his position on gay marriage, changing it
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because of his son coming out. could you ever see a position, a time where you, yourself, might change your position? >> i really can't see one. i've talked to rob and encouraged him and, you know, if people want to have civil unions and have some way to transfer their resources, i'm for that. i just think marriage is between a man and a woman. but if you want to have a civil union, that's fine with me. >> twice he said it's okay to have a civil union. gay marriage and civil unions are no small matter in ohio. in 2004 a ballot measure during the general election amending the ohio constitution to outright ban civil unions was credited with energizing the evangelical vote tipping ohio in bush's favor, w's favor, and winning the election over john kerry. it was a huge issue in 2004 and it was a vote against gay marriage or civil unions after the governor there came out for civil unions twice in that conversation yesterday.
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"the cleveland plain dealer" was all over kasich's comment saying he revaeld on wednesday that he supports civil unions for same sex couples but don't quote him on that because he goes on to quote his spokesperson reeling in the governor in a statement that reads, this is a statement from the spokesperson, the governor's position is unchanged. he opposes gay marriage and opposes changing ohio's constitution to allow for civil unions. well, so much for that. and he's far from the first republican to feel the heat from the fringe. joining me is msnbc contributor ron reagan and eroll lewis. first a comment on that one. kasich is a fine guy, a bit of a maverick. he's had a very tough life in many ways. he comes out be and says what comes to mind, he's thinking out loud. you know what, i'm not ready to go all the way with 180 on my position but civil unions, yeah, i can live with that if they can find a way to put their resources together. he said it again. and then within hours his flak comes out with a written statement to make sure it's
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getting picked up saying he didn't say what we just heard him say, ron. what do you make of that? what's going on here? >> well, what did mr. kasich demonstrate there? he seemed to demonstrate on the one hand he doesn't really have a position. that he's susceptible to pressure from the right and that maybe he just doesn't think about these issues at all. and he also demonstrated and this is relevant to the repub c republican party as a whole that he's way behind the curve of history now. the public as a whole is moving in a pretty clear way on this issue and mr. kasich seems to be moving, and the republicans, in the opposite direction. this is a recipe to end up in the ash can of history. >> it's unfortunate when somebody won't stand up and fight for their principles which appears to be the case on some level with the governor. more important, though, is the party and the conservative forces that maybe made him back track because it's the governors who are sort of the secret weapon of the republican party. if they ever want to get back
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into national power. >> why are they? why are they? >> they are the ones who deal with practical matters and somebody like a chris christie in new jersey and frankly a rick perry in texas and ideally maybe even a governor romney in massachusetts. they deal across the aisle. they deal with practical issues. they can help the party sort of see where the country is going and move ahead in a practical matter and take credit for it if the party is smart enough to take advantage of that. >> eroll, you're making the point. practicality, bipartisan thinking, nonideological thinking is the reason people elect republican governors so easily. they don't have to make a big ideological choice. there you have republican governor kasich, who, again, i say i like, giving a nonideological answer. i haven't thought much about it but, yeah, civil union sounds fine to me. it's a reasonable answer for a guy who hasn't given much thought to something. thank you.
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up next, chris christie meets the press, the third grade press. literally. this is "hardball," the place for politics. [ female announcer ] your smile. like other precious things that start off white, it yellows over time. fact is, when it comes to your smile, if you're not whitening, you're yellowing. crest 3d white whitestrips go below the enamel surface to whiten as well as $500 professional treatments, at a fraction of the cost. guaranteed, or your money back. crest. life opens up when you do. want a whiter smile today? try 2 hour express whitestrips.
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back to "hardball." now the sideshow. first a week with chris cillizza itty and new jersey's younger generation. it's not unusual for christie to get questions whether he'll run for president but how about for someone who still won't be able to vote in 2016? >> i'm a third grader at the elementary school. you've done a great job here in new jersey, and i was wondering if you were thinking about running for president?
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>> do you work for msnbc? i'm not thinking about running for president right now because i have a job to do here, and i have an obligation to all these folks. you can't worry about fourth grade until you finish third grade, you know? and i can't worry about this until i do this job. >> good answer. early in the week christie took on an even younger crowd, a class of kindergartners. >> did you come here in a limo? >> no, i came in something even better. i came in a helicopter. >> whoa! >> it's on your field over there. >> georgia republican -- >> what was i doing? >> nothing. >> nothing? that's pretty usual. probably just talking, right? that's what this job is about a lot of times. >> is the president's wife enchanting? >> is the president's wife enchanting? yes, actually.
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she was. she is very smart. she is very nice. >> good hit as we say in politics. next, if nothing else, georgia republican senator chambliss wins the week for comments that leave you thinking, what's that supposed to mean? on whether he would change his position on gay marriage, chambliss said, i'm not gay, so i'm not going to marry one. hmm. he is not alone in taking a position based on his own personal situation. think progress, the group did some digging. former is not jon kyl of arizona back in '09 wanted to cut a part of obama care, are cut out of it the part that required employers to cover basic maternity care because it made everyone's insurance more expensive. >> i don't need maternity care and so requiring that to be in my insurance policy is something that i don't need and will make the policy more expensive. >> that's big thinking. anyway, a colleague of his later pointed out kyl's mother likely needed such services at one point.
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then there was the fiasco over aide for states affected by hurricane sandy. 67 house republicans voted against providing flood insurance against sandy victims. 37 of them have a history of supporting aid after natural disasters when their own states were affected. missouri congressman sam graves was one of them. but here is what he said in 2011 when his state was dealing with a severe flood damage. quote, i urge the president to a approve this assistance without delay. many communities along the river have been stretched to the limit preparing for and fighting this unprecedented flood. finally, oklahoma senator jim inhofe in 2006 had this to say during a debate on gay marriage again. >> as you see here, and i think this is the most important prop we'll have during the entire debate, my wife and i have been married 47 years. we have 20 kids and grandkids. i'm really proud to say that in the recorded history of our
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family we've never had a divorce or any kind of a homosexual relationship. >> so mr. inhofe lives in a world of straight marital perfection. ladida. what does this statement of self-celebration and a little picture he brought on have to do with the debate on same sex marriage? it's anyone's guess. that's "hardball" for now. thanks for being with us. up next "your business" with j.j. ramberg. begins with arthritis pain... and a choice. take up to 6 tylenol in a day or just 2 aleve for all day relief. all aboard. ♪ [ slap! ] [ slap! slap! slap! slap! ] ow! ow! [ male announcer ] your favorite foods fighting you? fight back fast with tums. calcium-rich tums starts working so fast you'll forget you had heartburn. ♪ tum tum tum tum tums